Community Tours Sian Kaan is an eco-tourism organization that provides tours in the pristine Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve, the largest protected area in the Mexican Caribbean (1.6 million acres). What makes this enterprise so special, is that they are committed to sustainable tourism, genuine cultural exchange and providing jobs to locals of Mayan descent. They offer various tours including birdwatching, sport fishing, kayaking, hiking, snorkeling and exploring archaeological sites. One of the most popular tours is a boat ride on mangrove-surrounded rivers. You can even learn how chewing gum is made.
This eco-park is part of the Experiencias Xcaret family (Xcaret, Xplor, Xenotes, Xoximilco). Xel-Ha boasts the "largest, most beautiful natural aquarium in the world." You can swim in grottos & cenotes (natural sinkholes)and see local sea life, explore Mayan ruins, jump off the Cliff of Courage, cross the floating bridge, ride bikes or fly kites. There are plenty of other activities and exhibits to keep you occupied for the entire day or you can simply spend your time relaxing in the sun or napping in a seaside hammock.
The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second-largest coral reef in the world, runs parallel to the Yucatan Peninsula. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the only reef that is larger. At the National Reef Park of Puerto Morelos, the reef is closer to the shore than in other areas of the Riviera Maya, and in 1998, this section of the reef became a protected area. Snorkeling tours and scuba diving trips are available from several dive shops in the small, seaside town of Puerto Morelos. It's illegal to swim out to the reef from the shore. To protect the reef, all snorkelers and divers must go out to the reef with guides.
Tulum boasts one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, only a kilometer from the Tulum Mayan ruins site, at El Paraiso Tulum Beach Club. Arrive at 10 am when they open and spend the day on a lounge chair, sun bed or a hammock. Order drinks and food from the bar/restaurant and enjoy happy hour at sunset. This is a perfect day at the beach! If you don't want to leave, you can also stay at El Paraiso in one of their 10 rooms.
To get away from it all, spend the day on Isla Contoy, an uninhabited island that is a nature preserve. The island is approximately 26.5 miles from Cancun and can easily be visited on a day trip. Isla Contoy is filled with various species of birds; some live on the island year-round, while others are migratory. Sea turtles lay eggs on Isla Contoy each summer. Tours are given by biologists who live on the island in order to study the flora and fauna, and they normally stop along the way to allow people to snorkel. On the island, there is a beach barbecue of fresh fish. While waiting for lunch to be served, you can explore the island or simply relax on the pristine beach.
Cenotes, or natural sinkholes, are a phenomenon unique to the Yucatan Peninsula. These pools, some completely underground and some open, are connected by an underground river system and are filled with cool fresh water, perfect for escaping the hot Caribbean sun. There are so many different types of cenotes that both divers and snorkelers can find the perfect one to explore. Cenote Dos Ojos, located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, is shallow on one side and deeper on the other and is great for snorkelers of all ages. Cenote Chikin Ha, located approximately 12 miles from Playa del Carmen, is the first in a system that connects countless cenotes through miles and miles of underwater passages.
It only takes a 15-minute boat ride to travel to one of the most popular day trip destinations near Cancun: Isla Mujeres. The island's popularity is largely due to its dreamy beaches and laid-back island feeling. You can book a tour with one of several guides who provide lunch and drinks. Those willing to go it on their own can catch a water taxi or ferry to this tropical island paradise. The downtown area is a charming mix of shops and restaurants. Rent a golf cart, circle the island and visit Punta Sur, the easternmost point of the country of Mexico.
Tulum is a relaxed bohemian beach town located 2 hours south of Cancun by car. Imagine a spectacular white sand beach, the aqua-blue Caribbean Sea and swaying palm trees straight out of your dreams. Now add tropical drinks and local fare to the picture and you're at rustic yet elegant Akiin Beach Tulum. Lounge on a beach bed and order refreshing drinks and gourmet Mexican and international food from their extensive menu. Feel good about your choice considering Akiin's commitment to protecting the environment. If you're engaged to be married, consider Akiin for an unforgettable wedding on the beach.
Le Blanc Spa is a beautiful oasis, a relaxing escape from the real world. Upon arrival, the spa concierge will rest a warm towel on your neck, and as you breathe in the aromatherapy and let the music envelop you, your worries will fade away. Before your chosen treatment, try some hydrotherapy, which will stimulate and further relax you, or take a sauna with the essence of your choice. Next, indulge in one of the spa's many massages. The 80-minute, four-hand Kukulcan Mayan Massage is a highlight. When it's over, enjoy cucumber water and fruit or cookies in the serene spa lounge.
If you're looking for romance in Cancun, you'll find it on the Columbus Lobster Dinner Cruise. The Spanish Galleon Columbus will tour the calm waters of Nichupte Lagoon while you watch the sunset and listen to the smooth sounds of a live saxophone player. Next, sit back and cuddle with your partner and gaze at the twinkling lights of the Hotel Zone. An open bar is included in the price, as well as your choice of surf n' turf, lobster or a vegetarian meal. This tour is perfect for a special anniversary celebration or maybe even a proposal. You and your significant other will treasure the memories of this unforgettable romantic evening.